I recently spent four great days at the Sacramento ISE Show. Being around all the other fishing enthusiasts and all the latest fish gear and tackle has really got me excited about the upcoming fishing season. But before the bite gets going good, there are a few house keeping items that need to get done. I like to use this time of year to prepare my tackle and equipment so that when the action gets good, I will be ready.
I would like to pass on a little often overlooked tip that is certain to pay big dividends. Inspect and replace any bent, dull or rusty hooks, whether they be individual hooks or those attached to your favorite hard baits.
Even the sharpest hooks can become suspect after extended use. Repeated contact with rocks and wood can cause hooks to become dull. Improper storage especially in brackish or salt water is a sure recipe for corrosion. Big strong pulling fish can bend and weaken hooks, leading to the inevitable untimely failure.
Often, brand new hard baits come straight from manufacturers with poor quality hooks. In addition, many anglers like to tinker with hook size, wire diameter, color and hook bend.
I rely on Gamakatsu hooks and over the years they have helped me improve my strike to catch ratio. For example, all of my striped bass hard baits from my rattlebaits to my wooden topwaters are fitted with 2X Strong Gamakatsu Round Bend Trebles. The new G-Finesse Trebles are perfect for finesse jerkbaits and topwaters that require an ultra premium hook that will not upset their delicate balance. And of course I use lots of Round Bend and EWG trebles.
One last area that should not be overlooked is the important bait to hook connection more commonly known as the split ring. I once had a substandard split ring open and fail on me while trying to land a big bass. This was a lesson that I only needed to learn once. Today I use SPRO Power Split Rings and have not had a repeat lesson.
Preparation is an important key to success on the water. Get yourself a good selection of quality replacement trebles and split rings, a pair of split ring pliers or a “Red One Wedgie Split Ring Tool”, I’ll bet you will be glad that you did.